Here in France, February is ski month. This is so important that all the schools close for two weeks so that families can hit the slopes. The schedule for school holidays throughout the country is on a rotating basis so that the chair lift lines won’t be quite so long as they otherwise would be. This year, however, with covid, ski resorts in the country are shut down, therefore where to go instead for the winter vacation? The beach of course! For the first time since Christmas, we are seeing our grandchildren, who are staying with us in St. Enogat for a few more days.
We took a drive to the eastern side of Dinard on Monday. The beach there is very nice and the view of St. Malo is directly across the water. There is a pleasant little park right above the beach and while Quinn and Zinnie played on the sand, we strolled around the little garden. We stopped to read a plaque which revealed that T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, had lived in that section of Dinard for a few years as a child. His father, who was an Irish aristocrat, had three children with his wife in Ireland, but ran off with the nanny to Dinard and the result of their affair was the little T.E. It also turns out that during his adolescence Lawrence moved back to Dinard, this time to a house in St. Enogat, not at all far from where we live. This information made us all very enthusiastic, and caused us to want to watch Lawrence of Arabia. So that’s exactly what we did. I was about Quinn’s age the first time I saw it.
Meanwhile, Jos was teaching in Paris and Emily was in Quimper directing the filming of La Petite Messe Solennelle, an Opera by Rossini that they have been working on for a couple of years. It was broadcast on television on Thursday evening, as all their scheduled performances have had to be cancelled. Speaking completely without prejudice, it is a truly marvelous production with fabulous voices, awesome staging, hilarious bits and a modicum of irreverence. If you would like to watch some of it, you can find it here, under “Le Replay” section. It may not be available for long, so check it out sooner rather than later.
The weather, as always, played a major role in the scheduling of our activities. I noticed that on Thursday it was predicted to rain in the morning but clear up in the afternoon. We planned to take a picnic lunch and go to Cap Fréhel, which we had never visited before, even though it is one of the must-see sites in the area. It is a long peninsula that stretches out into the gulf St. Malo and offers stunning ocean views and pleasant walks. Although close as the crow flies, it is almost an hour by car, as, not being a bird, you must follow a serpentine route along the coast to get there. When we arrived it was gray and foreboding. We took our picnic basket out and tried to find a table. None were in evidence, besides which the temperature was frigid and large drops of rain were falling on our heads. We felt discouraged but also quite hungry. We sat in the car, turned on Bob Marley’s Legend and ate our sandwiches and chips. By the time we got to One Love, we were done eating and every dark cloud had blown away. The sky was a magnificent blue and the sun warmed us up as we jumped out of our vehicle and took a very pleasant stroll along the cliffs. We could look back towards Dinard and make out some of our familiar islands in the distance.
Quinn made a friend at an overlook point. There was some inter-species communication going on there, but I can’t say exactly what was exchanged. I was not privy.